Oh, The Places You'll Go

Very Special Agent DiNozzo: Investigative Hound

Notes: I spent a long time giggling over calmly discussing this fic with soupytwist and airinshaw. I thought I should probably write it down. Feels good! Thanks to my dearest soupytwist for audiencing and support. No spoilers.

1. A crime is committed

"If you had a--what?--a cow tail, you would be twirling it right now. Stop staring, Tony!"

"Pigtail," corrects Tony on autopilot, "and I'm not staring."

"You are too staring," says Ziva. "You have been staring, staring, staring at McGee's desk since we got the call from Gibbs and that was 37 minutes ago."

Tony drags his gaze away from the empty chair and turns his best injured expression on Ziva. "I was thinking. About the case."

Ziva snorts and leans forward, resting her head in her hands. "Please," she says, "You cannot think for 37 minutes without interruption. Where is the unhealthy snack food? Or the use of office stationery as percussion instruments? Or the cursing of the computer and yelling for McGee?"

"I can't yell for McGee," says Tony, infinitely patient, "because he isn't here." And really? How ridiculous was it that he wasn't back from the airport yet, especially with the way Gibbs drove?

Ziva narrows her eyes, considering. "He has only been gone for three days, Tony. Do you miss having your Probie here to torture?" She straightens up, hands flat on the desk in front of her. "Or is there something else you wish to share?"

"No!" says Tony, way too quickly. Damn it! He's had months to get used to Ziva and her wily MOSSAD ways and yet she always finds a way around him. It's not fair. What's also not fair is the lack of Probie Wan Kenobi for a seventy-two hour period in which Tony has been supremely awesome no less than six separate times, has thought up a slew of new nicknames, has come up with three nefarious practical jokes to play on Ziva and has been really, really hungry, all without anyone to share it with him (or let him steal their food).

He misses McGee. He's man enough to admit it. To himself. Not to anyone else ever, because god, he'd never live it down but still. To himself.

"Do you have a little crush?" says Ziva, leaning back in her chair and grinning the scary, scary grin of a trained killer.

"No," says Tony, face splitting with a grin of its own as the elevator doors open and McGee and Gibbs step out. He gets to his feet.

Not a little crush. Not a little one at all.

"Probie!" Tony hugs McGee then steps back, clasping his arms. "I do believe you've grown," he says and has a momentary panic that he'd accidentally glanced at McGee's crotchular region before saying that.

McGee doesn't seem bothered by that, though. "Yeah, right, Tony," he replies, "I was gone three days. Even if I had put on weight--which I didn't--you couldn't have seen any difference."

"I didn't me-" starts Tony but is interrupted by Ziva who pushes him away.

"Hallo, McGee, it is good to have you back," she says with her fancy continental kissing that confuses the hell out of Tony. Which cheek do you start with? How many times? You could get caught in some endless cheek-kissing loop and ultimately die of dehydration. Disaster.

"Enough," says Gibbs. "What have we got?"

It's all noise, then. Noise and rush and McGoogle doing something awesome and probably illegal with computers and somehow Ziva ends up with the car keys (and, see, Tony knew that McGee shouldn't have been let out of his sight because three days is apparently all it takes for him to forget how to tag team with Tony to prevent their imminent death by Ziva) and there's shooting (not of Ziva, mostly because Tony's hanging on for grim death with both hands and doesn't have a spare to pull his weapon on her) and yelling and possibly some whimpering and then it's all over.

By the time the loose ends are tidied up it's late. McGee's out of the squadroom first with Ziva close behind.

"Go home, DiNozzo," says Gibbs as he passes Tony on his way out. "You don't get extra credit for staying."

"Yes, boss," says Tony and doesn't move until he sees the elevator doors close.

Once he's sure the coast is clear he moves over to sit in McGee's chair, compulsively picking up everything on the desk. Here is McGee's holepunch. Here's his stapler and here is his penholder complete with neatly sharpened pencils and paperclips organized in size order. Oh god, this should not be making Tony feel funny in places usually funnied-up by pert breasts and tumbling curls.

Okay, then, thinks Tony, getting a grip on himself. Campfire for one.

Here is a list of things Tony is not: a plain Jane, an idiot, an ass-licker, a geek, prone to self-reflection, entirely straight.

The last one has come as a bit of a shock.

It's not like Tony hasn't had mancrushes before, there are plenty of guys (some of them not even on celluloid) that Tony has thought were so cool and awesome he's wanted to be them. But this thing he's got for McGee, this is something else entirely. He doesn't want to be McGee, he wants to do him. On a soft bed would be good for Tony's back, but he's good with anywhere.

As a Special Agent, Tony is used to getting unexpected information and dealing with it. This, he has no clue what to do with at all. He briefly considers freaking out, but he can't stop thinking about how pretty McGee's eyes are so the damage is already done in the vaguely gay department; he might as well conserve his energy. Then he spares a moment to wonder 'What would Gibbs do?" and the answer is so obvious he slaps himself upside the head twice: once on Gibbs' behalf, once on his own. After some more fruitless thinking and an abortive attempt to break into McGee's drawers to see if there is anything that smells of McGee in there (aborted because oh god, is he crazy now?), Tony finally settles on watchful waiting. He can do that. He can wait watchfully, or watch waitfully, whatever. Tony nods to himself and stands up.

Campfire over.

It turns out that Tony is only good at watchful waiting if there's something to actually watch. McGee is exactly the same as usual, hopelessly unmanly, supersmart, whiny and unexpectedly sweet by turns. There's nothing at all in that mild-mannered geek demeanor to suggest that he thinks of Tony as anything other than team.

At first Tony's a little hurt by that, but as the days pass the hurt becomes bemusement and by the time he's been watchfully waiting for two weeks Tony's feeling a little put out. Because here's the thing: Tony is awesome. He's hot, he's incredibly witty and he's good with a gun. He is so far out of McGee's league it would be laughable if he weren't going home each night and dreaming far too many symbolic dreams involving McGee, tunnels, trains and rockets. McGee has to like him back or the world makes no sense.

It doesn't take long for Tony to work up a real head of steam about McGee's apparent lack of interest. It's a crime, is what it is. A very serious crime against Tonymanity. McGee is 100% pure geek--surely he has to be at least heteroflexible to maximize his slender chances of getting laid? He must want Tony. Why doesn't he want Tony?

"You could always move on," his inner voice tells him, but no. Tony's got the bit between the horns now, or the bull by the teeth, and he's not a Very Special Agent for nothing. There's going to have to be an investigation.

2. Preliminary investigation

Tony knows that they're lucky to have the technology they do to help them track down the criminal du jour--forensics, GPS, McGeek's uncanny ability to hack into anything in approximately one minute and thirty seconds flat, Ducky's ninja autopsy skills--but he also knows it's important not to underestimate the power of basic police work.

Back when he was in Baltimore PD, Tony had never gone anywhere without his trusty logbook. Okay, some cases it wound up full of phone numbers of hot bystanders, but that isn't the point. The point is this: sometimes a log of even the most trivial details had provided exactly the breakthrough they'd been looking for. Tony is good at trivial; it's his métier.

Logbook duly schmoozed from Office Supplies, Tony carefully writes in code on the first page: TM4TD? If any of the guys stoops low enough to sneak a peak they won't crack it, he's sure. Next, Tony turns his mind to what is going to constitute evidence in this case. The defendant will be proved guilty by an absence of signs of attraction, that bit is easy. The difficulty is in recognizing the signs that will absolve McGee of the heinous crime of not thinking Tony is crushable material. (Not in the sense that he can be crushed because Tony? He's like rubber. Although he remembers an old india rubber ball he used to love until he left it out over a winter and it perished and lost its bounce, so that's maybe not the most accurate comparison and he's off on a tangent again. Where was he?)

So. Yes. Signs. The thing is, the vast majority of Tony's experiential database consists of women, and, yeah, McGee is halfway to being a girl so maybe it counts, but though Tony has the whole knowing-a-girl-is-interested thing down cold, he doesn't know if he can apply that wholesale to McGee. He's going to need a control. This stymies him for a while because no way is he trolling gay bars to work up a rap sheet against McGee. He tries watching some gay porn but according to them the signs of attraction seem to go leer-unfeasibly large erection-money shot and it's a) possibly shaky in its accuracy and b) kind of inappropriate for the workplace. Kinda hot, but definitely inappropriate.

Eventually, he remembers James, an analyst who works two floors down. James once asked Tony on a date so he obviously has the good sense to think Tony's a pretty hot prospect. Maybe he can help.

"So, James," says Tony, cornering the guy in the break room. "You been working out, man? Looking good."

James smiles and takes a step towards Tony, making eye contact for a second before looking away and brushing invisible lint off of his jacket. Okay, thinks Tony, cataloging every move, look and gesture. Let the games begin. There is a possibility that he should feel guilty about treating James as a guinea pig but Tony's guilt gene is dialed way down and besides, women have told Tony often enough that flirtation does not have to equal sexual availability. This time he chooses to believe it.

They chat for a little while and Tony is so busy figuring out the signals James is giving him that he isn't paying full attention to what the guy is saying when he leans over and touches Tony's arm.

"You know, Tony, if this was three months ago..." He stares intensely at Tony's mouth for a couple of seconds and then his head snaps up and he grins, genuinely happy. "But I'm dating this really cool guy now and we're kind of exclusive, so I'm gonna have to say 'thanks, but no thanks.' I'll see you around sometime." He pats Tony's arm, gives him a classic apology look (it's high up in Tony's repertoire of brush-off looks) and leaves him standing there, mouth open.

It takes Tony a few minutes to remember that he wasn't actually after a date with the guy and that this is a good conclusion. Everyone is happy; he's got his information and James has got his boyfriend. Win-win. It still takes him another hour to shake the feeling of being dumped, though. Sometimes it's hard work being--what does Ziva call it?--an attention-whore.

That night, Tony codes the behaviors and writes them down in his logbook. It's time to gather the evidence. There's a thrill in his gut that he recognizes from those few times women haven't immediately succumbed to his charms; he's on the hunt. He is hungry like the wolf.

"Coffee, McGee?" he says the next morning, handing over a cup of McGee's favorite blend.

"Thanks, Tony," McGee's face lights up with a smile and that split-second eyebrow flash thingy (coded as EFT) but Tony doesn't know if it's directed at the coffee or him. "Man, I need this."

"Tough night?"

"Yeah." McGee points at his monitor. "I can hack into the Pentagon no problem, but finding a way into Exatek's network is impossible. Gibbs is gonna kill me."

"Not kill you, Probie," says Tony, moving behind McGee's chair and leaning over his shoulder. "Maybe just maim you a little bit."

"I don't want to be maimed," says McGee. "I'm happy being maim free." He hunches his shoulders and attacks the keyboard again.

Tony has a flash of brilliance. "You need to relax. Here." He straightens up and puts his hands on McGee's shoulders, squeezing and releasing the muscles. "Wow, you're tense, McKnotty," he says and in his perfect world this is when McGee would lean back into Tony's touch, groan a little and say something like, "You feel so good, DiNozzo." That would make a very nice little note in the logbook.

What happens is this: "Yes," snaps McGee, "because of the potential maiming. Now will you get off of me and let me get back to- Oh!"

"Oh?" says Tony, hands stilling.

"I think I- Yes. Wait. Yes. Did it!" McGee leaps to his feet and turns and for a split second Tony thinks he's going to hug him, but instead he beams and demands, "Where's Gibbs?"

"Right here," says Gibbs, walking in on cue just like he always does. "What have you got for me, McGee?"

Tony lends half an ear to McGee's technobabble and flips out the logbook. It's not looking good for the defendant. Which means it's not looking good for Tony either.

Over the next couple of weeks there's practically nowhere that McGee goes that Tony doesn't follow. He picks arguments for the sake of it, stepping way too far into McGee's personal space bubble, finds excuses to touch him, crowds him in the truck, letting their legs press together. He watches, watches, watches. Were McGee's pupils dilating because Tony was leaning over him, or was it because Tony was blocking out the sun? That sweat on McGee's forehead, was it from Tony's helping hand on his back or from the exertion of the climb? Then there's stance and heart rate, deflecting touches and nervous ticks. So many variables, so little time. (So little patience.) And every last thing gets noted down.

"What is with you?" demands McGee on day 18. He's standing over Tony's desk with his hands on his hips. Classic posturing behavior, thinks Tony. I should make a note. Only that's when he realizes the logbook is open in his hand and McGee is looking right at it.

"I don't know what you mean." Tony has always set great store in the strategy of denial ever since facing down angry fathers when he was in high school.

"You know exactly what I mean," says McGee, undeflected, leaning on Tony's desk.

And now Tony knows precisely what it feels like to have his personal space bubble invaded. He swallows hard and tugs at his collar.

"See?" continues McGee. "Classic guilty behavior, DiNozzo. Every time I look around you're either staring at me or writing in that little book. And if you're not doing that you're driving me crazy. It's making me nervous and I don't like it." He narrows his eyes in what Tony imagines is supposed to be a threatening manner but--god help him--he can only see it as cute.

"Oh, right," says Tony with his best attempt at scorn. "Because I have nothing better to do than obsess over you, McNerdy." Hide in plain sight--that's another technique he's learned over the years.

McGee straightens up and tilts his head a little to one side. "Do you?"

"Do I what?"

"Have anything better to do?"

McGee's gaze is open and honest and for a split second Tony stares back at him, deadly serious, but then his mouth is open and words are coming out and it's back to business as usual.

"The thing is you're such a fascinating case, McGoo. The question is how you can be so smart at the computer stuff and yet so hopelessly incompetent at, you know, walking up hills or shooting stuff or talking to women that aren't Abby or Ziva? I mean, your dad is Navy, you work for the Navy and yet you step within fifteen feet of a boat and you throw up. What is that? You deserve study just so other people can learn to be not like you."

McGee blanches and Tony wants to kick himself hard. There's a fine line between teasing and cruelty and he knows he just stepped over it.

"Screw you, DiNozzo," says McGee and is gone.

Tony pounds the desk. Investigating never used to be this hard when he was in uniform.

3. Synthesis/analysis

McGee isn't talking to him. It's kinda ridiculous really, because it's not like Tony hasn't said similar things in the past, which, okay, so maybe it's an accumulation of stuff. And if he tries to look at it from McGee's perspective maybe it feels like Tony's really been on his case these last few weeks. He hasn't let up, that's for sure. So maybe it's fair, the not-talking thing. Doesn't mean Tony has to like it.

"Why's McGee not talking to me?" he asks Ziva.

"Because he is a human being and not a dog," says Ziva. "You can't be all mean one minute and throw him a boner the next. It is not nice, Tony."

"Bone," corrects Tony.

"If you say so." And Ziva waves him off with a flick of her fingers. Maybe she thinks Tony's a dog.

"Why's McGee not talking to me?" he whines at Abby, leaning against the table in her lab while she exhorts Major Mass Spec to new, unscaled heights of forensic awesome.

"Because you're an idiot?" says Abby, doing something complicated with a pipette and a tiny tube. "Seriously, Tony, I love you, but you're going about this totally the wrong way."

"About what?"

Abby swirls around to face him, pigtails flapping in the breeze. "You're kidding me, right? Because if you don't know either, there's no hope."

Tony backs up a step or two, hands raised. "Whatever it is you think you know I think you'll find you don't know it," he says.

"If you say so, Tony," sighs Abby. "You should probably go now. Before I find something to strangle you with. I have many latex gloves."

Tony goes.

"Why's McGee not talking to me?" he asks Ducky.

"You know, Anthony, I always find that in circumstances such as these where there is friction in the team, it is best to go straight to the source, as it were. I remember when I was back in university and my lab partners Roger McLean and Pinky Smith had a falling out. It was quite the brouhaha of the day and-"

The door slides shut behind Tony and he wonders how long it will take Ducky to notice he's gone.

"Why's McGee not talking to me?" he asks Gibbs.

And Gibbs says, "Shut up, DiNozzo."

It's driving Tony crazy, not being talked to. All he wants to do is get McGee's attention and have him acknowledge Tony just exists. The guy's perfectly professional when Gibbs is around--he's smart enough not to invite the head slap--but the second Gibbs is gone the only things Tony can get out of him are immediately relevant details to whatever they're working on. The thing is, Tony's a good student (when he wants to be) and he's internalized Gibb's rule that apologizing is a sign of weakness so that's out, and everything else Tony can think of to get McGee's attention is just going to rile him more. He wants to throw balled-up paper at him, wants to snap the points off of McGee's oh-so-neat pencils, wants to snatch the donut that's waiting patiently for McGee's attention and shove it into his own mouth in one go, wants to bend McGee over his desk and-

Yeah, okay. Tony knows not good when he sees it and this is that. It's time to review the evidence and then he's got a decision to make.

"Cover for me," he says to Ziva.

"No," she replies, raising her eyebrows at him.

He goes anyway.

The first half an hour Tony spends decrypting the logbook because he's managed to forget what half the codes stand for. The next few hours he spends looking for patterns, symptoms, signs. He thinks about the time he came into the squadroom to find Ziva holding McGee's hands and examining them.

"Are you proposing, Ziva?" he'd said.

McGee had snatched his hands away from Ziva and hidden them behind his back.

"McGee was showing me his nails," Ziva had said "I expressed an interest in finding a manicurist as I have to attend a function at the Israeli Embassy this weekend, and he was kind enough to let me see the quality I could expect from his salon."

"Salon?" Tony had grinned, advancing on McGee. "Really, Probie? Do tell. No, wait. Don't."

McGee had backed away, but not fast enough to escape Tony as he'd lunged for, and captured, one of McGee's arms. He'd slid his hand down it to allow McGee's hand to rest on his, palm to palm and had bent over it, inspecting the nails. McGee had gone strangely docile, then, and Tony had pressed his middle finger lightly into the pulse point on McGee's wrist, stroking over the immaculate nails with his other thumb. The gentle thrum against his finger pad had sped up and strengthened. Oh yeah, this was definitely going into the 'proof of innocence' column.

"Real men don't mind a little dirt under their nails, McGirly," he'd said then, dropping McGee's hand and surreptitiously wiping his now sweaty palm against his pants.

"Real men die of hepatitis," McGee had returned.

"Why is no one ever working when I walk in here?" Gibbs had complained. "Is this a social club?"

"No, boss," they'd chorused, and it isn't until now, thinking about it, that Tony remembers the little smile McGee had flashed at him as he settled back at his desk.

It's not an isolated incident, not at all, but there are plenty of other times when McGee had just pushed him away or rolled his eyes and asked if he needed to go to the dog park to run off his energy or said, "Sure, Tony, and how else would you like to torture me today?"

What this means is that this is no simple task, working out if McGee has a crush on him or not, and Tony feels that the whole thing would go a lot easier if there were graphs or flowcharts or if McGee could design some kind of computer program to feed in the variables and spit out an answer. Of course, to do that he'd have to know what Tony wanted in the first place which kind of defeated the purpose, but still. It would be quick. And there would be less thinking involved. Thinking always leads to headaches and Tony doesn't have any Advil in the apartment. He keeps at it, though, because this thing has to end, one way or another, and at precisely 2200 hours he flips his logbook closed, shuffles the stack of papers that he has most definitely not doodled TD♥TM on into a neat pile and stands up.

A conclusion? He has one.

4. Interrogation

There are many styles of interrogation, Tony knows. There's Gibb's silent staring/scary yelling combination, Ziva's I-can-kill-you-with-my-little-finger style, and his own unique brand of break-em-with-the-crazy (Tony likes to think of it as a little Dirty Harry, a little Indiana Jones, a touch of Bond--strangely, Roger Moore this time--and a whole lot of DiNozzo) to name but three.

This, though. This is new. It's like, okay, sure he usually interrogates with his mouth, he just doesn't usually interrogate with his mouth.

It had taken five solid minutes of begging and knocking like a maniac to get McGee to open the door.

"I have gifts," Tony had yelled, holding the six pack of Clipper City and a bag full of manly, greasy hot wings up to the fisheye.

"If I let you in, will you shut up?" McGee had yelled back.

"Yes, McGee, I will shut up. I will be the best you've ever seen at shutting up. Just open the door."

The door opened slowly, but all Tony needed was enough space for a foot and he was in there, crowding up against McGee and admonishing him, "Didn't anyone teach you to keep the chain on, McGee? Anyone could get in. How do you know I'm not a crazed killer?"

"I know you're a crazed something," Tim had muttered, taking a couple of steps backward. "Also, you said you'd shut up."

Tony hadn't let up, getting right back into McGee's personal space. "Yeah, you should probably never listen to me."

Another step back from McGee. Another forward from Tony.

"I mean, more crap comes out of my mouth in one day than is flushed down D.C toilets in a month."

Back. Forward.

"Is this you apologizing?"

"Sign of weakness, Probie, you know that."

Back. Forward.

"But maybe. Maybe, yeah. And maybe I'm just telling you to stop listening to what I say and pay more attention to what I do."

They'd danced their little dance one more time and then McGee had been backed up against his shelves with nowhere to go.

"What, Tony? What do you do?" McGee's tone may have been more irritated than Tony was hoping for, but he was on a mission and he wasn't going to be deflected, not this time.

"Oh, McGee," he'd said, eyes traveling over McGee's face and focusing on those ridiculously kissable lips. "I'm so glad you asked."

And that's how he'd found himself here, finding the last piece of the puzzle by kissing McGee stupid. There's only one question he's asking and he's making sure he does as thorough a job as possible. McGee's mouth is every bit as soft and warm as Tony has imagined and he can't resist nipping on McGee's lower lip, just a little. McGee makes a sound halfway between a gasp and a whimper and suddenly, it's not enough to just to kiss, Tony has to touch. He reaches out to cup McGee's neck but it occurs to him that his hand is already full. He drops the bag of hot wings without a thought, hand sliding around to connect with hot skin, tugging McGee in even closer. And that's when his other hand decides to give up on holding anything that's not McGee also and he drops the beers.

"Motherfuck!" explodes Tony against McGee's mouth as the pack smacks off his ankle bone as they fall.

The thing is about Tony, he's tenacious, and blossoming agony and a surefire bruise isn't going to knock him off target, dammit. He's kissing McGee and that's all there is to it. Well, maybe kissing and mild hopping. But he can multitask. Except for how McGee won't stop laughing and Tony has got to admit this whole thing is kind of disastrous. He lets go of his geek and takes a hop backwards, grabbing his ankle in both hands.

"You okay?" asks McGee with a gurgle, as he crouches to pick up the fallen beer. He's looking up at Tony half-amused and half-dazed and Tony spares a few brain cells from dealing with his trauma to think about exactly what just happened here.

"Ha. HA!" Still hopping, Tony takes one hand off his ankle and jabs a finger at McGee. "You kissed me. I knew it! I am so good at my job."

"No, Tony," says McGee, shaking his head and sticking out his bottom lip in a way guaranteed to drive Tony crazy. "I kissed you back. Do you need to lie down or something?" He furrows his eyebrows in puzzlement and it's only the fact that Tony is having great difficulty getting past the words 'lie' and 'down' that he doesn't immediately pounce on McGee and lick the cute crease just above his nose. "What do you mean, good at your job?" McGee adds, and for at least the millionth time Tony wishes he'd been born with his internal monitor set to 'on'.

He puts on his hurt-puppy expression and says, "Help me, Probie Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." As a distraction technique it works like a charm: McGee's grin is wide and genuine and he stands up, slinging Tony's arm over his shoulder and helping him into the bedroom. It's looking like no jail time for McGee, but it's best to make sure.

He could say, "Hey, Probie, ya wanna fuck?" but he's no American gigolo.

He could say, "Are you ready for me...McGee?" but he's no $300 hooker, either.

He could say, "You complete me," but he would like to hold on to at least a shred of his self-respect and also? Tom Cruise is crazy.

So he sits on the edge of the bed, smiles, holds out his hand and says, "Come here."

5. Follow up investigation

Here are some of the things Tony believes warrant further investigation: the taste of the inside of McGee's mouth, the sounds McGee makes when Tony licks the crease of skin at the back of his knee, the smell that beats off McGee in waves as Tony buries his face in his neck, what a 4 out of 5 ass looks like sans clothing. And that's just the beginning.

Here are some of the things he learns: that the fierce concentration that McGee gets when he's solving a seemingly intractable problem is an almost unbearable turn on when its focused on Tony instead of a keyboard; that many things about sex with McGee compensate for the lack of breasts, not least the fact that McGee has a firm grip and isn't afraid to use it; that someone else's dick in his hand feels okay, feels more than okay, feels pretty damn awesome actually; that McGee comes with his eyes wide, his cheeks flushed and his mouth closed and it's so freaking hot Tony could almost cry. Almost.

Here are the three things Tony confirms: that he really doesn't give a fuck about Rule 12, that no crime was ever committed against him by McGee and, as McGee presses their foreheads together and says inexorably, "Come now, Tony," that he's in this far far deeper than is probably good for him. Right now--every muscle in his body working in harmony to wrench the pleasure out of him, fireworks going off behind eyes squeezed shut--he can't bring himself to care.

McGee lies flat on top of the bed, hands tucked behind his head in the most wanton display of nudity that Tony has ever seen. Okay, so that's not entirely true, but it's McGee and he's naked, it's still a little weird. Tony lies next to him, one hand casually brushing McGee's side as he holds a fierce debate with himself over exactly what percentage of pathetic he would be if he just rolled over and snuggled. It is very possible he's going to have to shoot himself in the morning.

""What do you mean 'good at your job'?" asks McGee and Tony is almost grateful for McGee's inability to just let shit go, already. Almost, but not quite.

"Nothing," he replies. "Mental aberration brought on by the extreme stress of beer on the ankle."

"You're a crappy liar, DiNozzo." McGee rolls onto his side and, before Tony can react, has him well in hand.

Tony squeaks. "I don't want to be a eunuch, McGee!" he says, eyes widening as McGee tugs gently on his ball sac.

"Spill and I'll spare your little swimmers," says McGee with an evil grin that Tony can only describe as Nicholsonesque. It's...disturbingly hot, is what it is.

"Okay, okay," says Tony, raising his hands in defeat. "I may or may not have been conducting an investigation into whether you...er...you-" Come on, Tony, he tells himself, you're a grown man. Allegedly. "-liked me or not. Liked me, liked me."

"Why?" And McGee's tone and touch is light, but Tony feels the unspoken frisson of threat and he knows he'd better not screw up this time.

He turns his head and reaches over to cup McGee's cheek, giving him his full attention. "Because I like you, you dumbass," he says, giving McGee a light tap on the face. "And I've found that it's always better if it works both ways."

McGee's face lightens and Tony can't help but lean up and kiss him. It's close-mouthed and sweet and shoots shivers through Tony that he can feel to the tips of his toes. It's almost ridiculous how good it is. Luckily Tony's always had a great sense of the absurd.

"Wait," says McGee, pulling back a little. "Isn't this entrapment?"

"Did I compel you to the behavior of jacking me off, Probie?"

"Not exactly," says Tim, with the faintest hint of a blush.

"Then I'm in the clear. Sting-or-bust, McGayformyass. I provided the opportunity and you took me up on it. Told you I was good at my job." He grins smugly.

"Oh yeah?" says McGee, pushing Tony back into the bed and straddling him. "Want to know what I'm good at?"

There's only one answer to that.

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